this is "nightline." tonight, a major drug bust nearly a year in the making. >> police department! search warrant! >> we are there in one hard-hit county with explosive behind the scenes access with the task force trying to take on the worsening heroin epidemic before it continues to take lives. can shopping feel as good as sex? for some, buying new clothes triggers pleasure centers in the brain. >> i love this. i want this dress. >> tonight we put one woman to the test finding out what really happens when you get your fast, fashion fix. and conscious couture. unstoppable actress rosario dawson far from the red carpet. >> amazing. >> on a new mission to give
sustainable clothing a glamorous makeover. but first the "nightline 5." >> it's macy's super saturday sale. save 50% to 75% storewide and get an extra 20% off with your macy's card or saving pass. text tv 62297 to get your pass sent directly too your phone. >> zantac heartburn alert. stop, nexium could take 24 hours to work. zantac's different. zantac rushes relief in as little as 30 minutes. for relief without the wait, try zantac. no pill relieves heartburn faster. >> number one in 60 seconds. [female announcer] if the most challenging part of your day is the staying awake part... ( gun shot ) sleep train has your ticket to a better night's sleep. because when brands compete, you save during mattress price wars. and through labor day, save up to $400 on beautyrest and posturepedic. get interest-free financing until 2019 on tempur-pedic. plus, helpful advice from the sleep experts. but this special financing offer ends labor day at sleep train.
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killing without favor from the inner city to the suburbs. abc's david wright takes us on a mission. >> reaching is going to be 507. >> reporter: before dawn special agents from the dea and local police gather for a tactical briefing. >> seeking charges for heroin distribution and heroin overdose at the house this january. >> reporter: this is the culmination of a ten-month investigation during which authorities say they seized some 34,000 doses. >> listen up. >> reporter: special drug task force gave "nightline" exclusive behind the scenes access to the bust. in this one suburb of st. louis 30 people have died of heroin related overdoses in the past year. >> the most heroin overdose deaths we have had in the past ten years. it just keeps rising. >> reporter: among today's targets. several accused dealers suspected of selling fatal doses. >> they're suspects in a heroin
overdose. >> reporter: fatal? >> fatal. >> reporter: officer juan wilson says one of the goal tuesday is to charge some of those dealers with involuntary manslaughter. now 6:30 a.m. they're about to serve a search warrant on a couple who sold a fatal dose of heroin allegedly. the house on the outside on this suburban cul-de-sac, unassuming. >> police, search warrant! search warrant! police department! search warrant! >> reporter: inside police say the suspects have enough syringes and paraphernalia to put them away. but no heroin. >> right there. right next to the place where someone distributed heroin and overdosed and died. we take this pretty seriously. >> reporter: you could see evidence in there that people were using. >> absolutely. i mean, you will have metal spoons that have charring on the bottom of them with suspected heroin residue on the top of it. so it is -- very indicative of heroin use inside the residence.
>> please stop that. i don't appreciate that. please stop. >> talking substantial amount of time in federal prison. >> does it matter if they sold or gave it? >> doesn't matter. distribution in the death. all that matters. >> reporter: house two today again doesn't look like a neighborhood out of "the wire." >> 8:00 rolling up on bust number two. >> police, search warrant! police, search warrant! >> reporter: here the authorities find drugs. but the stash is small enough to fit in some one's pocket. >> you know, not talking substantial amount of weight. what is very important is, it's just this -- 1/10 of that could kill someone. >> reporter: juan wilson says it is enough to put the alleged dealer away for life. life in prison for this? >> yeah, depending on what his criminal history is. very possible he could. >> reporter: seems a bit harsh. >> it does. when you are talking 20 people can die just because of this.
20 people. >> reporter: for juan the fight is personal. >> this is my community. i live in this community. i have kids of my own. i want my kids to grow up in a community to where they're not pressured to do heroin. >> reporter: he group in the town and lost his father-in-law to a heroin overdose. >> i just wanted to do something to try to help, you know, stop people from overdosing in the community. >> reporter: heroin in the heartland, the problem is only getting worse. when "nightline" first met juan wilson last year, he gave my colleague pierre thomas a compelling overview. >> we found day loaded pistol. it was underneath the -- the couch cushion, laying right next to where the baby was. where we found the heroin also. fully loaded. >> reporter: we met this woman whose 20-year-old daughter died of a heroin jo overdose. >> i can so vividly remembering that moment, sitting there
thinking, "oh, my god, she died." >> thank you for coming out. >> reporter: guy started walking to raise awareness of the dangers of heroin. those walking for wellness marches growing bigger every year. as more families come out and acknowledge this epidemic. >> reporter: for months you feel shattered like a shattered piece of glass. it would take one gust of wind a and -- you'd be gone. >> reporter: 30-year-old christopher hager's parents told us their son battled heroin addiction on and off for nine years. last year, he died of a methadone overdose. >> it feels like somebody punches you in the stomach and knocks the wind out of you. >> you cannot prepare for it. >> reporter: turns out they lived across the street from guy vigna. >> she is an amazing woman. i started walking with her. my son actually walked many times. he hated the stigma of heroin. he was ashamed and embarrassed
about it. >> reporter: the day ends with a lot of fanfare. a news conference announcing a major drug bust. the total amount of heroin was 3,426 grams. >> reporter: more than 50 supposed dealers taken off the streets. authorities hope this will be a model for other communities across the country. it seems like you didn't bust a heroin ring, didn't take kingpins off the street, didn't you round up a bunch of junkies here. >> we certainly deidn't do as much as we could do. there is more. >> reporter: does it make a dent in the problem? >> we can only do what we can do and try to aggressively pursue the distributors of heroin. that's one small piece of the overall fight against the epidemic. >> reporter: do you think this will even make a dent in the problem? >> we have got to do something. so, let's start making a little dent here. a little dent there. and maybe -- you know, we can save somebody else's kid.
>> reporter: for her part, guy vigna says any amount of heroin taken off the streets makes the community a better place. >> that individual portion of that is like a single serving of death. when you are removing that potentially that is not one more mom that will call me and say, can you put my child's name on my shirt. i am tired of doing that. tired of getting the phone call that says i got the call. they died. >> reporter: officer wilson hopes she is right. he wants to do right by her. but he is frustrated. >> you take one drug dealer off street there are five more to replace them. i don't thin thick is goik this stop heroin. the problem is going to get worse before it gets better. >> reporter: fight one dealer at a time, fighting one dose at a time. trying to get ahead of the epidemic. >> an uphill battle. we continue to fight it every day. >> reporter: i'm david wright for "nightline" in saint charles, missouri. next -- this what your brain looks like on shopping.
even if the numbers on the sale rack look low you could be paying a higher price than you realize. >> from fast fashion to slow fashion. how celebrities like rosario dawson transform a worthy cause. >> that's amazing. ♪ after a dvt blood clot.mind when i got out of the hospital what about my family? my li'l buddy? and what if this happened again? i was given warfarin in the hospital but i wondered if this was the right treatment for me.
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i've got a question for you. what is better, sex or shopping? don't laugh for a lot of people there actually are similarities. as this holiday weekend undoubtedly with one of us preparing to do one of the activities. some shoppers may be going to extremes. maria schiavocampo remind us what really happens during the brain during a fast fashion fix. ♪ finding a good deal makes me really happy. >> reporter: what woman doesn't love to shop? but what if we told you shopping can give you the same pleasure as sex. >> i love this. i want this dress. >> do i hear more shopping, please? >> this is adorable. yeah, this is totally fine. >> reporter: to find out how that is possible we mounted a go
pro on 30-year-old alex robert's -- >> i haven't been in a store since last weekend. >> to see what is going on inside her brain as she hunts for her spring pallet. more on that later. alex is one of the many people groic growing up in an age where cheap chic is everywhere breeding a new generation of shopaholics. take bethenny moda. >> dainty slip dress. >> math maddy brag. >> a few self-made celebrities famous for literally bragging about their scores on youtube in a phenomenon known as videos, wracking up millions of views. stores like h & m, and forever 21 and zara made shopping a euphoric almost addictive experience for many, creating a multibillion dollar industry. on average americans buy more than one item of clothing each
week. take a peek in alex's closet. >> you shop often. this is your sport? >> it is. my cardio. >> you still have things with tags on them? >> i do. >> reporter: buying it faster than you can wear it? >> yeah. i feel so excited and pumped up when i go shopping. kind of look a drug. >> reporter: is shopping really like a drug. to find out we followed alex as she hit up her favorite stores. a new technology called facial tracking should tell us if alex is experiencing a highlike euphoria while shopping. first stop, zara. >> i love this. this is amazing. $169 which isn't bad for a jacket. >> reporter: immediately alex says she feels like she has to have what she sees. >> i have been looking for these. some camo pants. these are awesome. i am probably going to have to get these. been looking for something like this for a year. it might be my lucky day.
>> reporter: what is really happening in alex's brain. according to analysis provided by facial tracking company invizio, on a shopping high. eyes wide, alert. mouth slightly open. all signs the pleasure center in her brain is lighting up. which experts at university of michigan is similar to the joy felt after having sex. >> i just got a pair of camouflage jeans. >> how did you feel when you spotted them? >> i was super excited. then i was more excited when i saw they were my size and price. >> reporter: a triple whammy of excitement. >> yeah. like okay this is meant to be. the universe is just, you know, it's right, right now. i have to get these. >> a lot of emotions are unconscious and under, under the surface. >> reporter: scott rick, professor of marketing at the university of michigan and his team of researchers took an even closer look. actually scanning shoppers'
brains. >> and we found the more evidence of pleasure or activation in regions that are targeted by dopamine, the more likely they were to buy the good consistent with the notion of, similar brain region that underlies craving for drugs, sex or friends. >> reporter: they were surprised to learn something else. >> there is this pain associate with spending. and to the best that we could tell there seems to be a tradeoff. a weighing of pleasure versus pain. >> reporter: yes according to rick spending actually causes us stress. was that the case for alex? we turned back to our facial tracking experiment to find out. >> i definitely find some awesome pieces at forever. and so inexpensive. i don't even look at price tags. i need a denim shirt. >> reporter: she seems to be enjoying herself. but her brain is saying something else. tightening of the lips and scanning items, indicate she is
disappointed and feeling stressed according to facial tracking experts. >> thank you. >> reporter: alex scored three items under $90 at forever 21. awe thought makes me feel happy. i feel like i got a really good deal for three things. >> reporter: the facial tracking results show a higher stress level indicating she may have felt compelled to buy the clothe because they were so cheap. but it goes beyond just keeping prices low. retailers use dozens of tricks that lure customers to buy more. michelle madduck analyzes retail and marketing trend and knows these tactics all too well. >> these stores are set up to set off your brain in the pleasure center. they're hitting something in our human behavior that gets you to want to buy. we call it buying yourself happy. >> i'm in love with this. it is extra small. we'll see if this fits. >> there is the lights, musics, sometimes they smell good. really immersing yourself in the feel-good experience.
>> reporter: at h & m, they're using the pricing technique to draw you in. instead of $10, it is $9.5. more enticing. seems cheaper that in is. and from japan, fast fashion. something they're good at. they do things that are limited edition, outfits, they're doing with artists right now. andy warhol, keith haring, something fast fashion does to create a scarcity and immediacy to buy something. >> reporter: alex says learning science behind shopping habits won't deter her from getting that fashion fix. for "nightline," i'm maria schiavocampo, in new york. next -- from the red carpet to rural africa, beautiful hollywood stars aligning behind a beautiful cause. how sustainable fashion is changing lives near and far. >> announcer: abc news "nightline" brought to you by macy's.
finally tonight, some unlikely worlds colliding. hollywood a listers known for their style now putting a spotlight on the true cost of cheap fashion. what does the u.n. have to do with it? here is abc's sarah haynes. >> reporter: actress rosario dawson is on a mission. far from the red carpet. >> amazing. >> reporter: to create sustainable fashion that tells a story. >> people are paying attention to things they hadn't been paying attention to before. not like going it's sparkly. it's sparkly doesn't seem sustainable.
>> reporter: teaming up, the duo launching studio 189, empowering women and low cull artists in pursuit of conscious couture. >> how can we make sure we are giving something quality, that's why her dyeing skill is really important. makes it special. that's what you are supporting. in fast fashion where you are getting something for very little. well if i am not paying for it, who is? >> reporter: dawson a growing number of taste makers pushing back against fast fashion. arguing that the environmental and human cost far outweigh that cheap price tag. >> we have to be think about what it means to be making clothes and how you make them and the implications of how you make them. >> reporter: ethical isn't cheap? >> it's not more expensive because we are making more money. it's because we are addressing negative external costs. you and i have to take responsibility of just asking the question, what is the social and environmental impact you are making this in? >> what are you doing now?
>> reporter: this ethos woven into the fiber of row sar the da u.n. initiative to create change in the developing world. >> going into this was never about a handout sort of idea, it's about partnership. trying to change that. it's not charity. it's just work. this idea of community and collaboration it is looking at what everyone is doing. they're working with each other. they're doing this work already. it's how can we amplify that. looking at her and she wants to do vocational training. looking at let me show you how tie make my beads. a picture is worth a thousand word. the art that well are making have a lot to say. >> reporter: for "nightline," i'm sarah haynes in new york. to find out more about what is driving actors and taste makers who want to change the way we dress, check out the times two youtube channel. two takes on one story. thank you for watching abc news.
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